Published On: May 11th, 20180 Comments

At Garden State Towing, safety is our primary concern. Recent changes to Victorian road rules, however, leave tow truck drivers exposed to danger. This month, the Garden State Towing team talk to you about the legislation and what it means for the emergency tow truck services in Victoria.

Road Worker Safety

Of 1,600 emergency service and enforcement workers surveyed by VicRoads, over the past three years, 17% were almost hit by vehicles four or more times; 3% were injured while evading a passing vehicle; and 8% had their vehicles hit by passing cars.

To combat these statistics, Victoria introduced new road rules in July last year. Under the new legislation, drivers have to slow down to 40km/h when passing emergency, enforcement and first-responder vehicles with flashing lights.The legislation aims to protect the state’s roadside emergency services, including police, ambulances, and state transport vehicles (including those belonging to the Department of Fisheries). It does not, however, extend to towing services.

Four months after the new legislation came into effect, a tow truck driver lost his arm while attending an accident on the Peninsula Link. He was responding to a 4WD that had broken down in the emergency stopping lane.This is a routine job that requires no other emergency services, such as police or fire brigade. The new legislation, therefore, didn’t cover him. The car that hit the tow truck driver, travelling full speed, irrevocably severed the tow truck driver’s arm, flipped and landed on its roof.

Road Safety Legislation

The legislation extends to all flashing lights, with one major exception. Motorists now, by law, have to slow to 40km/h when passing red, blue or magenta flashing lights, but not yellow. On their websiteVicRoads explains their decision to not include yellow flashing lights in the rainbow of red, blue and purple. They state the rule excludes yellow lights so that it is “easier for motorists to understand and comply” with the new rule — to slow down for some flashing lights, but not all, or face a fine.

Under the new road rules, motorists have to slow down and keep a safe distance from the flashing lights or siren of:

  • Police
  • Ambulance
  • Metropolitan Fire Brigade
  • Country Fire Authority
  • Forest Fire Management
  • State Emergency Services
  • Search and Rescue
  • VicRoads Transport and Safety Service
  • Enforcement vehicles under the control of State Transport bodies including the Department of Fisheries and Taxi Enforcement
  • Other emergency patient transport

Alone on the Roads

The safety laws were implemented to improve the safety of “workers who are performing work on the road or roadside, as well as others who are present at the scene” (VicRoads). That this doesn’t include tow truck drivers is a major oversight. Police are only called out to accidents when there has been a collision, and paramedics when there has been an injury. For most of our emergency roadside towing services, we are alone.

We operate 24/7 on dangerous roads with nothing between us and the traffic. Our flashing lights warn drivers not only that there has been an accident, but that there are people working next to and on the road. A tow truck’s flashing lights warn motorists that there has been an accident and that there are people operating along the road. They are there to warn drivers of danger. They are there to increase our visibility and to protect us. We urge Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donellan, to amend the legislation to include tow truck services.

What can be Done?

Michael Burgess started a petition to include tow truck services among those covered by the new legislation. Currently, the petition has 6,600 signatures. We hope that more people will sign the petition and that the laws are extended to include us. Tow truck drivers are in just as much danger as the other roadside workers but aren’t covered by the current law. Please sign the petition here and share it with your friends and family.

Remember, for your own safety, as well as that of roadside workers, slow down when you see us. Keep a safe distance. Road safety is everybody’s concern. Working together, we can have safer, quieter roads.

Jason Chew
Jason Chew
09:00 29 Jul 22
Chris is the best. Funny, professional and experienced.If your Tesla gets towed, you are in safe hands with Chris.
Ben Poesch
Ben Poesch
00:50 07 Jul 22
jim apos
jim apos
02:24 19 Jun 22
I had to tow my Porsche Taycan Turbo back for repair to the dealer. Initially, I was terrified of getting the wrong company and person to perform this task, however Porsche Roadside thankfully sent GardenState and Chris. All my fears of damage and abuse of the car during towing quickly disppeared as Chris knew exactly what he was doing. He was super careful and knowledgable and most importantly respectful of the qulaity and price of the car he was dealing with. I couldn't be happier and Chris made an otherwise very stressful trip back to the dealer a relaxed and comfortable drive. I think GardenState are lucky to have Chris!!Jim A. 19.6.2022
Beebles Gaming
Beebles Gaming
08:59 18 May 22
Chris towed my car today and I was so grateful for the way in which he handled a tricky situation with such care. My car could have easily been damaged if not for the careful manner in which Chris handled the car. He was genuinely concerned for me and the car and I would be confident to recommend him again.
Gab Brielle
Gab Brielle
03:25 18 May 22
Fantastic efficient service! All phone communication was prompt and clear. They always answered the phone too, which helped at a time of stress. Everything went as smooth as silk and the driver, Chris, was so friendly, helpful, and informative. Thanks Chris. Thanks Garden State Towing for a great service!
Tim Neish
Tim Neish
00:20 08 Apr 22
One of my work vehicles broke down and need to be towed.They where on site within 20mins!! Took it straight to my mechanic was literally back on the road with in an hour. Thanks for your great service. Would highly recommend.
Hugo The DOG
Hugo The DOG
05:37 13 Mar 22
Friendly and quick service
Georgia
Georgia
05:26 28 Feb 22
Genuine life savers. After being in two collisions within the same hour on a busy Saturday morning, it’s hard to describe the relief I felt seeing the trusted Gardenstate truck pull around the corner to have a professional handle the situation. Not only was Chris incredibly attentive and sympathetic in a difficult situation, but he went above and beyond to ensure all parties understood the next steps of the process, and provide invaluable advice for trusted repairers. Chris went out of his way to take everyone involved through the red flags of insurance companies and what to look for in the future to make sure we’re in the best possible hands - the expert opinion we all need. If it weren’t for Gardenstate’s quick response time and impeccable service, I’d be suffering with a whole lot more than just whiplash. A HUGE thank you to Chris from the Gardenstate team for the work you do, and the kindness you show along the way. There aren’t enough words or google reviews to explain how much it’s appreciated.
Charles and Megan Mack
Charles and Megan Mack
23:20 25 Feb 22
All members of the team were very helpful , professional and easy to deal with, from the collection, overnight holding and delivery of my boat. Will use again next time for sure
Austin Phillips
Austin Phillips
22:36 17 Feb 22
Had my car picked up by Rob to take to my mechanic after a breakdown. He was communicative, polite, ontime and very gentle with my lowered sports car. Would use again anyday of the week.
Adam Park
Adam Park
01:17 14 Feb 22
Great, friendly, easy-going service. Mohammad went above and beyond to solve some hiccups with the job and got my car home regardless. Top-notch service.
Sandra Stonewall
Sandra Stonewall
09:05 01 Feb 22
Fantastic Service, highly recommended. Shout out to Dean Tyzzer for being understanding and accommodating. Thank you
Mark Rogers
Mark Rogers
23:48 17 Jan 22
Harley was the genuine article! Fairly priced and amazing service. Thank you so much for getting me out of trouble today. Made my day mate
Ben Goh
Ben Goh
03:41 13 Jan 22
Charlie too great care getting my Mercedes CLS500 onto the truck bed, which was ultra low due to a failed air suspension!Another tow truck came before and couldn't do the job.Great work 👌
Noel Bennett
Noel Bennett
22:55 11 Jan 22
My vehicle broke down in Melbourne CBD . I managed to push it into a no standing zone and rang Garden State on the recommendation of a friend ..I was originally told that they were booked out until early afternoon but on hearing my dilemma sent the first truck and removed my car and delivered it to the mechanics within 90 minutes of my call .I would highly recommend this company to anyone who wants a tow
John Scott
John Scott
11:57 21 Dec 21
My daughter's car broke down in the evening and these guys had a truck there within an hour. The truck driver and the office manager, Joel, both rang about 10 minutes before the truck arrived to let us know. Exceptional customer service, we would recommend these guys to anyone needing a tow. Nicole and John Scott. 👍👍
Benedict Jacob
Benedict Jacob
12:21 08 Dec 21
Brett assisted me in towing my Nissan. He arrived within an hour, was polite and had a good sense of humour. I was pretty stressed out as this happened sometime past midnight. Brett was extremely professional throughout the entire process and we had a good conversation which made me feel more comfortable in a stressful time. I would highly recommend Gardenstate Towing and would like to thank Brett for his outstanding service.
caleb karis
caleb karis
08:18 02 Dec 21
cheers muhammad for the tow! thanks for the advice too :Dsuper friendly.
Chantelle .91
Chantelle .91
15:18 19 Nov 21
The tow truck arrived only 40 minutes after making a booking. The tow truck driver managed to navigate a difficult street in Windsor, and after some initial maneouvering, did a really great job at getting the car loaded. 30 minutes later and my car was back home and dropped off in a timely manner. The driver maintained a friendly attitude and smile throughout the service, with great communication throughout. Would recommend their services in future.
mary Dalli
mary Dalli
03:44 12 Nov 21
Brett at Garden State Towing was professional/funny and kind made me feel very comfortable. The assistance Brett provided me was very much appreciated Thank you . I highly recommend this business and ask for Brett he'll get the job done
Duane.W
Duane.W
00:00 10 Nov 21
Thank you Gardenstate Towing for your great service. Very easy to deal with, turned up on time, clear communication and friendly nature. I dealt with Harley and he was great fella! Thank you again!
Balkaran Singh
Balkaran Singh
07:46 02 Nov 21
I had Mohamad assist me with excursion of an exceptionally upsetting circumstance. He was timely and made me protected and agreeable. Outright legend, would strongly suggest
Madeleine Bellis
Madeleine Bellis
10:44 31 Oct 21
Brett at Garden State Towing was kind, professional and helped turn what was an unpleasant situation into a breeze. The assistance he provided me was very much appreciated and his genuine care and good nature reminded me there are great people out there. I highly recommend this business, and specifically Brett.
Cameron Green
Cameron Green
08:34 30 Oct 21
I had Bret help me out of a very stressful situation. He was punctual and made me safe and comfortable. Absolute legend, would highly recommend
Marc Robilliard
Marc Robilliard
04:33 29 Oct 21
Bradley Davis
Bradley Davis
07:07 25 Oct 21
Michelle Ryan
Michelle Ryan
03:51 25 Oct 21
Highly recommended as an elite company that was cheaper than others in the field as well friendly and professional. I was stuck on the freeway on a Sunday on a busy day with many accidents. Gardenstate Towing answered the phone quickly and were honest and friendly easing my stress Immediately. The company got to me as soon as possible with only a short wait and the driver was a terrific Aussie and my car was treated like it was a Ferrari. My stressful day got turned into a fun trip with great conversation and laughs. Hands down the best in the business. Many thanks.
Marcus Triplex
Marcus Triplex
06:59 23 Oct 21
I was involved in a car accident and my car was in a dangerous spot and was unable to be driven. I was very stressed out and was late for an important appointment.Brett from Gradenstate towing came to my rescue, not only did he get to me before the estimated time, but he calmed me down, assured me everything was going to be okay, and was extremely professional about throughout the whole process. I also made it on time for my appointment!I would highly recommend Gardenstate towing and would like to thank Brett personally for his fantastic service.
Lucas Knipe
Lucas Knipe
02:27 21 Oct 21
Great service mohamed was very friendly and professional
Tom Tanswell
Tom Tanswell
09:56 20 Oct 21
My partners car was towed by Brett, who was a kind, professional gentleman. In an extremely stressful situation he turned up with a smile on his face and was able to make both myself and my partner feel at ease.Thanks a bunch from Mr and Mrs Duck
T Van
T Van
07:38 17 Oct 21
Brett was very professional and efficient. Given the stressfulness of the situation, it was reassuring when Brett showed up and sorted everything out.Big thank you to Brett and the team for all your help.
Stephanie Bimbilovski
Stephanie Bimbilovski
03:29 08 Oct 21
Had a great experience with Gardenstate, they were able to come out at a specific time and day, thanks to Dale from the office for helping to organise everything. Tow truck driver Brad arrived on time and carefully towed a 1971 Kombi. He was very helpful and professional and went above and beyond to get the van delivered in a tricky driveway. 10/10 would recommend Gardenstate to anyone who need a car towed
Kate “Kageo” Georgia
Kate “Kageo” Georgia
21:57 02 Oct 21
Great company. If your car has been stolen it may just end up being towed here when found and it will be in very good hands. Dale took care of me and was so helpful and patient. Try not to leave car too long after being notified as they have limited room and they do what they can for you until its turned into scrap metal...for some that might be a blessing but others a disaster so be mindful of that....
Andrew P
Andrew P
00:48 29 Sep 21
Brett was brilliant, arrived on time, quick and professional service, not to mention a good bloke! #GoRedSox
Mtb
Mtb
10:04 19 Sep 21
My partners merc decided to die on her at 6pm on a Sunday night. Brett from gardenstate towing was out in about half an hour and had it back at our home in less time. Cant recommend these guys enough. Brett you're a legend mate. Cheers guys.
Angelo Suriyabandara
Angelo Suriyabandara
10:56 18 Sep 21
Steven Dong
Steven Dong
02:33 15 Sep 21
We been called their service for many time, all in mid night, they came so fast and towing our car to garage, especially we like to say is the driver Brett, he is the best, professional man I ever meet!! We so proud of use their service and so haapy for Brett to look after us so well, we love to give gardenstate five star!!!!
Jasper Li
Jasper Li
12:02 14 Sep 21
Bratt helps me a lot I'm so appreciate that, the assistant was so quick.
Christy Davidson
Christy Davidson
06:17 11 Sep 21
My car broke down on the Monash Freeway and it was very stressful. After contacting Gardenstate Towing, Harley arrived within 30mins of the call and was able to help me get my car out of the service lane on the freeway.The service was excellent, all COVID safety measures were in place and the truck was spotless. Excellent service and a great price, especially on a weekend! Very impressed and will definitely use them again if required. Thanks again Harley!!
Nicolò Caravante
Nicolò Caravante
11:19 10 Sep 21
Thank you so much Brett for help me today with my car, great service, top quality and professionality !!!
Jo Galea
Jo Galea
12:14 23 Aug 21
The driver who assisted me in towing my Holden was bloody awesome 👌Arrived in under an hour Jimmy was Covid safe from word go. Introduced himself. Was polite & had a great sense of humour. The driver took pics of my vehicle before loading her on the truck. Which protects both parties in the event of damage. My car is lowered & my driver Jimmy was so great at driving her up making sure he checked as he did so she went on smoothly. Highly recommend Gardenstate towing. I felt totally safe leaving my car in the hands of your driver. 🥰
Lyndal Imlach
Lyndal Imlach
23:20 22 Aug 21
Thanks for the professional service supplied. Great easy communication with staff there and prompt turn around with the work. Keep it up.
jagadeesh kata
jagadeesh kata
10:05 19 Aug 21
Driver Harley did very good job towing my Audi. took lots of care . A1 service
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